Thursday, May 20, 2010

home study & what's next

much to my delight i found the first draft of our home study waiting for us in my email inbox before going to bed last night. i was so excited that i even tried to open and read the pdf while laying in bed on my iphone. once i realized it was 9 pages of small text, i gave up on that pretty quickly because this girl's eyes just aren't what they once were...

anyways, i checked over it today and everything looks great besides a few minor changes. {thanks again mom and dad for spelling my name without the "e" on the end. that's the gift that just keeps on giving!!} our agency said they checked it this morning and don't have any changes, so hopefully we'll get our final, notarized copy soon. this is the last thing we were waiting on for our dossier!

once we get the copy, we'll take our huge packet of dossier papers over to arise to be sent off to ethiopia!!!!!!! i can hear the angels singing now :) once our dossier is in ethiopia, we'll officially be on the waiting list to receive a referral for a child. woohoo! just thinking about that gives me butterflies in my stomach. referrals typically include a picture or two of the child, a small medical background and any background they may have on why the child is orphaned. our agency says that referrals generally take around 2-9 months...but we're optimistically hoping for 2 months, not 9!!

from there, we will be assigned a court date in ethiopia {usually about 3-6 months after we accept the referral} and we will prepare to travel to ethiopia for court. during that first trip, we will get to spend about 5 days getting to know our child and interacting with them in their orphanage. after we have a chance to decide if we want to go ahead with the adoption, which i'm sure is the easy part, we will appear in ethiopian court and state our intentions to adopt the child. until we "pass court", we will not actually be our referred child's parents and there are a small percentage of families who receive referrals but never pass court to officially become parents for their referred children. we're praying that's not us!! the hardest part of the whole trip is going to be meeting our child, loving on them, and hopefully passing court to officially become their parents, only then to have to leave them in the orphanage for another 2+ months. we will come back to the states empty handed and wait for another 8-10 weeks for our child to be assigned a visa appointment date.

once they have been appointed a visa date, either ryan and i or my sister and i {depending on ryan's work schedule} will travel back to ethiopia to pick up our kiddo. during the second trip, we will get to pick up our child from the orphanage and actually bring them back to our guesthouse to be with us permanently. no more orphanage for them!! we have a series of appointments, get their visa and passport, and head back to the US with our newest family member and US citizen. i can't wait for that day!!!